Big3, the US professional 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by rapper Ice Cube and his long-term business partner Jeff Kwatinetz, has announced the first-ever purchase of one of its teams to represent a specific home market – in this case, Los Angeles.

The purchasing group is an investment consortium led by the DCB Sports vehicle, and “includes a mix of professional athletes and celebrities,” Big3 has said, with the deal value coming to $10 million.

That team will debut in season eight of the league, in 2025. The seventh season, starting in mid-June in California, is the last in which the league itself centrally owns all teams.

From next year, all teams will transition to represent their home markets.

The sale of the Los Angeles outfit, therefore, is the start of what will be a considerable sales process for Big3, with another 11 teams left to sell off.

Big3 has said that ownership groups for an initial four franchises will be announced before the beginning of this year’s league, with at least eight other markets to be assigned after this year’s campaign concludes (in mid-August, in Boston).

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The 12-team Big3 has already named Toronto, Canada, and London, UK, as two of the initial 12 markets, as the league looks to expand internationally.

Until this point, the basketball league has traveled to different cities each week, with teams not each having their own home market.

Gary LaDrido, managing partner at DCB,  said: “We believe that the Big3 can shape the future of basketball; the gameplay is dynamic and nuanced and the product on the court appeals to a global audience. I can’t wait to continue to grow this game with this group for years to come.”

Aside from its Big3 team ownership, DCB also has investments in the San Francisco team from the TGL golf venture set to launch, as well as in Venezia of Italian men’s soccer’s top-tier Serie A.

Ice Cube added: “We could not be happier to entrust part of our league to Gary and this seasoned group of sports investors ahead of our most important season yet. We have all-star basketball talent, millions of loyal fans around the world, and we are one of the most viewed sports programs of the summer on CBS. 

“Basing our teams in home cities allows Big3 to engage local communities and fanbases and bringing in ownership groups each with their own sports expertise, business, and capabilities beginning in 2025 will allow Big3 to grow exponentially.”

In April, Big3 unveiled the renewal of its deal with longtime partner energy drinks brand Monster Energy for the 2024 season.

The league’s upcoming seventh season, starting on June 15 in Oakland, California, will be broadcast on CBS, Paramount+, and X.

Read: Big3 ramps up internationalization plans with London and Toronto expansion.